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Netflix signs deals with Airtel, Videocon d2h, Vodafone

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New Delhi, March 6 Global video streaming service Netflix on Monday announced strategic partnerships with Airtel, Videocon d2h and Vodafone — making it the worlds leading Internet TV network.

With these partnerships, Netflix’s critically-acclaimed programmes like ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Narcos and The Crown’ will be easily accessible to consumers across direct-to-home and mobile platforms throughout the country.

“India is one of the most important and vibrant countries in the world and we are delighted to be teaming up with three of its leading companies to make it much easier for consumers to enjoy Netflix,” Reed Hastings, Co-founder and CEO of Netflix, told reporters here.

“In the months and years to come, we look forward to bringing our Indian members more compelling stories from all over the world, an ever-improving viewing experience and incredible joy,” Hastings added.

Under the agreement, Bharti Airtel will integrate the Netflix app into its direct-to-home service throughout the country.

“Airtel has been a pioneer in bringing the best of global content and products to its customers. We are delighted to partner Netflix to bring their popular content to our customer on one of our key digital platforms,” Said Gopal Vittal, Managing Director and CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel.

Netflix will also be integrated into the Videocon d2h set-top box, allowing viewers to instantly access Netflix by clicking a dedicated Netflix button on the remote control.

“We are delighted to have Netflix as a partner on our HD Smart Connect STB. This partnership strengthens our DNA of innovation by providing an instant TV screen experience for Netflix users in a seamless manner,” added Saurabh Dhoot, Executive Chairman, Videocon d2h.

In the mobile space, Netflix will partner with Vodafone on pre-paid programs and will enable payment integration, allowing Vodafone customers in India to pay for their Netflix subscriptions via their monthly bill.

“We are proud to be the first mobile partner of Netflix in India and look forward to offering its rich content to further delight our millions of customers”, said Sandeep Kataria, Director Commercial, Vodafone India.

Netflix launched its service globally in January 2016, including India.

“In 2017, we’ll be working on making our Indian service better in every dimension,” said Hastings.

“Working with some of India’s top artists, we cannot wait to bring more locally-produced series and films to our more than 93 million members households around the world,” he told reporters.

IANS

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We don’t discriminate: Ola to VHP man who cancelled cab as driver was Muslim

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New Delhi, April 23: Taxi aggregator Ola Cabs on Sunday gave a thoughtful reply to a man, claiming to be associated with a right-wing outfit, who had cancelled his ride after finding the driver assigned to him was a Muslim.

Abhishek Mishra, a man who claims to be linked to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), had posted on Twitter that he cancelled his Ola booking on Friday after finding that the cab driver was a Muslim.

His Twitter account says Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Ideology First, Hindutva Thinker, Digital & Social Media Advisor (Views Personal), said, “Cancelled @Olacabs Booking because Driver was Muslim. I don’t want to give my money to Jihadi People.”

After cancelling the cab, Mishra took a screenshot of the cancellation and tweeted his Ola booking which named the cab driver.

Mishra’s Twitter post soon went viral and triggered a huge debate on Twitter with some siding with him and while others trolling him for inciting hatred and communal sentiments.

Interestingly, Mishra is followed on Twitter by bigwigs like Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Culture Mahesh Sharma and many others; reported Zee News.

With his tweet creating a lot of buzz on the micro-blogging site, Ola also chipped in and tweeted a thoughtful reply to Mishra.

The cab operator put out a statement, saying that the company is a secular platform and doesn’t discriminate between its customers and driver partners and urged everyone not to discriminate on religious lines.

Mishra’s Facebook profile says he is from Ayodhya and works as an IT professional in Lucknow.

He claims he is an active member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal — both affiliates of the BJP’s ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh — and “holds responsibility” of the IT cell of the VHP.

WeForNews

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Apple loses $60bn over reports of weak smartphone demand in 2018

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Taipei, April 21: Apple lost over $60 billion in market cap in two days after Taiwan Semiconductor, Apple’s biggest supplier, said in an earnings update that second-quarter revenues would be hit by “weak demand from the mobile sector”.

Apple shares fell nearly seven per cent on Thursday and Friday over reports of a sharper slowdown in smartphone sales this year, Financial Times reported late on Friday.

Not just Apple, the news led to several global chipmakers losing market valus, including Analogue Devices, Dialog Semiconductor, Qualcomm and Qorvo.

For the first time since 2009, smartphone sales in China fell last year while global sales fell in the fourth quarter of 2017 for the first time since 2004.

In another setback for the iPhone maker, its efforts to get LG Display’s OLED screens for future iPhone production line “have hit manufacturing issues”, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Apple is reportedly divided on whether LG will be able to succeed as Samsung’s replacement for OLED displays.

The Cupertino-based company currently uses Samsung’s OLED displays for iPhone X.

The LCD panels which are currently being used in the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are supplied by LG. Apple Watch screen is made by LG Display.

There are reports that Apple is designing and producing its own device screens, secretly at a facility near its headquarters in California.

It is believed that Apple will switch to OLED displays for all of its iPhone releasing in 2019.

IANS

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Canon infusing AI into cameras for Indian millennials

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New Delhi: Kazutada Kobayashi during an interview with IANS

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) As the millennials in India constantly strive to click that “wow” moment and instantly share it with friends on social media, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled cameras with “minds of their own” are the future that will create perfect shots for them, a top Canon executive has emphasised.

Cameras have become intelligent in the past few years with integrated capabilities like smarter chips, Wi-Fi support, smart functions, better speed and enhanced performance.

“We are on the right path when it comes to infusing AI into cameras. The experience of the last 80 years has helped us catch new trends early — be it in chips, designs, smart functions or controls. Software development is the key to stay ahead,” Kazutada Kobayashi, President and CEO, Canon India, told IANS.

Sensing the future of AI-enabled cameras, Google has launched “Clips” — a camera that uses AI to figure out when it should take a picture or video.

The clip-on camera automatically adjusts its resolution according to the situation and has a 130-degree lens to fit more of the scene in the frame. When it senses something memorable around, it clicks a 15-second-burst photograph.

Canon India has also launched “EOS M50” — a new mirrorless camera for the youth that houses the “DIGIC 8” image processor to ensure better picture quality and comes with 4K movie shooting capability.

According to Kobayashi, camera-centric smartphones are giving the company a renewed push to come up with “serious” cameras as India is an evolving market and so are the demands and expectations of the customers.

“The relationship between a smartphone camera and a real camera is interesting. With smartphones, more and more people are now clicking pictures which have given us a thrust as people are now keen to have better image quality with AI embedded into it. This is a good takeaway from the smartphone market to build Next-Gen cameras,” Kobayashi added.

Canon is bullish on the imaging technology being a carrier for the Internet of Things (IoT) industry that is growing exponentially in India.

“IoT is the future of the connected devices and systems around us. Canon has capabilities like the entry of optical information via camera lens or data analytics via microprocessors. Camera is a very strong entry point to gather information, process and digitise it, and get the desired output. Camera will provide an edge for all IoT devices in the future,” the Canon executive noted.

On a question whether Canon will also begin manufacturing in India, Kobayashi said: “India has a high potential for manufacturing. We have made visits to prospective venues and done feasibility assessments. We don’t have concrete plans as of now to share on bringing a certain product range for manufacturing into the country but yes, we are certainly looking into this”.

The Indian camera market is growing in both the B2B and B2C segments for Canon.

“The impact of demonetisation and GST are now settled and people are ready to spend more money on cameras. I keep my fingers crossed for the second half of this year when the festive season begins. In the B2B segment, we achieved double-digit growth last year and expect to repeat the performance this year too,” Kobayashi added.

IANS

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